Written by Lyle A. Lasky
Beverly asked me to provide feedback and experience information about my search for a new career opportunity and how I found the process flow went, as well as, the things that I have learned by going through it. In order to do so, let me provide a bit of a background.
I was the owner of what I would call a medium-sized mortgage-banking firm in south central Pennsylvania. Our volume level in August 2008 was approximately $28 million per month in funded loans. It was during this month that the domino effect of the economy began to strike. The first thing that happened was our local bank, after suffering a multi-million-dollar fraud loss, was bought out by another bank. This made the access to credit lines and relationship banking disappear. Then, came the cuts in our warehouse credit lines due to the difficulties being suffered by GMAC finance arm at the time. Our line was cut from $35 million to $5 million overnight. This resulted in the inability to fund the volume of business we were doing. The final down fall came on September 2, 2008 when I suffered a heart attack and under went stent placement on September 9, 2008. It was now time to call it quits.
I spent the next several months recuperating from my ordeal and trying to determine exactly which way I wanted to go with my career. At age 38, I had to make a decision that not only affected me, but my wife and children as well. I researched and interviewed various career coaches and decided on contracting the service of Beverly Harvey because of her reputation, value-added services, and approach to the job search process. I found working with her a pleasure and she went above and beyond the realm of our contract to keep me on track and from not becoming discouraged.
After approximately three months of searching and decisions, it was clear that I would not be able to change industry due to the stigmatism that the word ‘mortgage’ placed on my resume. So, I decided to start exploring jobs back in the financial sector I had spent most of my career in. After approximately a month of hearing comments about being over qualified or over priced, I was forced to face another dilemma–accept a position at a lower pay scale and tone down my resume, or not become employed and run out of reserves. I decided to follow the first route.
After running various scenarios back and forth with Beverly, I toned the resume down, decided on the new method of approach, and distributed my resume. One of the approaches that I decided on was not to ignore the temp agencies. I realized a very important factor–they do not make money unless they place employees. Thus, I began to circulate my resume amongst the likes of Manpower and Aerotek. It was actually at this point that I started to receive several phone calls, job descriptions, and inquiries about my skills and got my first meaningful interview through Manpower. This interview led to a position with a National mortgage firm as a full-time permanent underwriter. Although the position and pay were less than I desired, I was gainfully employed and was able to bring in a paycheck while still keeping my options open.
It was not less then two weeks after I began the position that I received a call from my current employer and after two interviews within three days was offered a full-time management position and a pay scale closer to that of what I was seeking. It was a complete turn of events from what I had experienced in the first three months of my job search.
With all that said, and the search behind me, I have learned several factors that I feel are important to share with those of you who find yourselves in a similar situation to what I was in:
1. Do not shoot for the stars in a new position, sometimes a toned-down, low-key, humbled approach is much more effective.
2. Do not snub your nose at a temporary assignment or agency. When I went on the interview through Manpower, it was for a position as a temporary underwriter; I left with the position of a full-time employee of the company with complete benefits.
3. Get back in the work force. If you are working, I found employers look at you entirely different and almost feel as if they are stealing an employee from a competitor. So do not shy away from a lower position that does not meet your immediate wants or needs.
4. Desperation can be seen by an employer! This, I think, I found most evident when I would send out my resume reflecting CEO experience for a non-CEO position. You should have a few different versions of your resume based on the level of position you are applying for.
I hope that my story helps some of you in your job search. Believe me when I say, my eight months of unemployment was not easy on me or my family. Keep your options open, be willing to accept an interview with any company and or position type as it could lead to more, as mine did. Do not be opposed to the question of relocation, because if you are able to sell them in the interview and they want you badly enough, this may be able to be changed to a telecommute opportunity. And last but not least, do not give up on yourself and your abilities. Use your networking skills and contacts to help you in your job search. I am more than happy to accept LinkedIn requests from most people and do try to help match good, valued people with others I know. So please feel free to send me a LinkedIn request, and I will help you in your networking attempts.
My best regards and warmest wishes to each of you,
Lyle A. Lasky
Operations Manager 3